There is nothing so fulfilling as the physical act of travel — getting on a plane bound for a murky destination is one of my greatest pleasures, in spite of how arduous many of these locations tend to be. In fact, the greatest appeal of my life as an independent foreign correspondent is the freedom it provides me to explore the world and the people in it, opening my eyes to realities that are quite different than my own. There is simply no substitute for putting boots on the ground and experiencing life in difficult or developing countries. As small as the world can seem, with the immediacy of social media and instantaneous news from practically every far-flung corner of the world, it’s necessary to be reminded again of just how vast it’s always been. The connection provided by the Internet is simply no substitute for the far-richer connection that comes with seeing things up close and personal.